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Township command center gets upgrades



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Capt. John Williams of the Groveland Township Fire Department monitors the six LCD screens at fire station one. Photo by David Fleet. (click for larger version)
January 18, 2012 - Groveland Twp.- New LCD screens at township fire station one should provide emergency responders with an edge when minutes count.

Township Fire Chief Steve McGee said the new equipment, which is now fuctional after about two months of planning, is unique.

"The command center will give us the extra seconds needed to save a life," he said.

nEach township emergency unit is now equipped with an automatic vehicle locator (AVL). The vehicle can be tracked on the LCD screen. The vehicle closest to the call for assistance will be utilized.

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nAn advanced weather system that utilizes Doppler radar scans the area for approaching storms that may impact the township. "As a storm approaches from Genesee County we'll be able to prepare for the storm faster," said McGee.

nDuring a 9-1-1 call the incident is typed into the system. That information comes up on the screen before it's broadcast.

"For example, if someone's house is on fire it sends a message to us—it's like a head start. Every second counts when someone's not breathing or there's a fire."

nVideo cameras are at both station one and two. If the stations are unoccupied they can still be monitored.

nA scheduling system keeps track of who is on duty or on call. During the case of a fire or emergency available personnel are posted on the screen.

"The costs were kept to a minimum since some of the township firefighters work on the project," said Bob DePalma, township supervisor.

"The upgrades included something better for less money. A good portion of the room at station one was damaged last year after the roof leaked. The insurance money, more than $24,000, was used to put the room back together. When we did that there were several upgrades added. The main dispatch room was gutted and repaired."

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